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Topic: Festival Music: "A Menina, A Lua, E O Mar" a Bossa Nova Tribute to Jobim and Ogerman

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Frank D's Avatar
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    Festival Music: "A Menina, A Lua, E O Mar" a Bossa Nova Tribute to Jobim and Ogerman

    Hello Friends!

    It's still a really
    HOT Summer here in NY, so for the SummerFest, I thought it appropriate to re-post a Bossa Nova I crafted two years ago this month. Nothing says warm, sultry, and tropical like a Bossa!

    "A Menina, A Lua, E O Mar" ("The Girl, The Moon, And The Sea")

    The song is an original Bossa Nova I created and recorded for The Garritan Orchestration Challenge No. 24. The melody is based on a phrase by Ken ("RustyCrook") Wiseman, who set this challenge.


    Arranging/Orchestration Model:

    Brazil's Bossa Nova first surfaced in the US in the early '60's, thanks to US guitarist Charlie Byrd and tenor saxophonist Stan Getz . Their initial collaboration, as well as the genre-setting sessions that followed with Getz and Brazilian Bossa artists' Antonio Carlos Jobim, and Joao and Astrud Gilberto, were essentially all small ensemble arrangements (guitar, piano, bass, percussion, tenor sax, vocals, and later, Gary Burton's vibes).

    In 1967 A&M Records recorded at Rudy Van Gelder's Englewood, NJ studio what to me is the definitive orchestral recording of the Bossa Nova ... composer Antonio Carlos Jobim's "Wave". Sensitively arranged by German uber-arranger Claus Ogerman, the album featured Jobim on guitar and piano (as well as vocals and harpsichord on two numbers) and a small, but evocative orchestra. The instrumentation consisted of 13 violins, four celli, bass, three flute/picc chairs (primarily doubling alto and bass flutes), a single French horn, two trombones, and a three piece latin rhythm section.

    Ogerman's sparse, yet colorful arrangements were the perfect vehicle for Jobim's sophisticated compositions. Orchestral sections were usually scored in unisons. Only the celli provided some concerted voicings, usually as soft padding underneath solos. The two most commonly used orchestral colors were the unison of the three low flutes doubled with horn, and the middle-to-high register unison violins. A single trombone was often used as a solo voice. Many of the melody leads were presented by Jobim's single-note piano work, often with restrained, jazzy variations. The overall effect was a transparent and sonorous atmosphere of glowing beauty. There was always lots of aural "air" between the various lines. I thought it would be fun to caft an arrangement based on Ogerman's Wave arranging style.

    Garritan Instruments:

    I was able to replicate Ogerman's studio orchestra with Garritan instruments fairly easily. I used JABB for the piano, guitar, bass, percussion, Reed 1 (alto flute), and trombone. GPO provided Reed 2 (alto flute), Reed 3 (bass flute), sectional 1st violins, three solo celli, and solo French horn. On the second bridge, Reed 3 switches to C flute (JABB) for a brief figure before returning to bass flute for the final "A"-section.

    “KISS”:

    Finally, I'd like to share that the biggest challenge I faced was in remaining faithful to the austere, clean style of this type of arrangement. I had to fight off quite a few urges to add more counter-lines and thicker, denser sonorities (as I did in “So Bill Me Later”, which contained a lot of five and six pitch voicings). No, this arrangement is the exact opposite. In this attempt to emulate Ogerman’s style, "Less is Best". If “A Menina …” sounded simple to you, then I succeeded J .

    Feel free to comment on any aspect!

    Best Regards and enjoy the Garritan Forum Summer Music Festival!!

    Frank

  2. #2
    Senior Member sd cisco's Avatar
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    Re: Festival Music: "A Menina, A Lua, E O Mar" a Bossa Nova Tribute to Jobim and Oger

    Nice mood, Frank!
    Something about the Bossa Nova is pretty sexy, soft summer night breezes, glittering lights, the sound ice cubes make when you stir them, intrigue and allure. Very skilfully handled and good listening the result!

    Thanks for posting - Rock-on SummerFest!!
    sd cisco

  3. #3

    Re: Festival Music: "A Menina, A Lua, E O Mar" a Bossa Nova Tribute to Jobim and Oger

    Ah, Frank, I think if I continue to read your postings, I will become an expert in mid-20th century classical and jazz music. And wow, I remember the Orchestration challenge very well (though I think I only entered in 2 or 3, I enjoyed it).

    You did well adhering to KISS as well as I could tell. This did, indeed, have a very clean bossa-y sound to it. Nice job!
    Michael Obermeyer, Jr.
    youtube channel
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  4. #4

    Re: Festival Music: "A Menina, A Lua, E O Mar" a Bossa Nova Tribute to Jobim and Oger

    Really nice Frank. The flute melts into the piece along the trombones. Fun to listen to too.

    Jim

  5. #5

    Re: Festival Music: "A Menina, A Lua, E O Mar" a Bossa Nova Tribute to Jobim and Oger

    Right on the money, Frank - This is exactly what the doctor ordered, a revival of this smooooth, totally groovy Bossa from you. Oh man, I remember the Orchestration Challenge this was from, and how wonderfully mind blowing it was to hear this entry from you.- HEY, Rusty Crook -now there's an old Forum name I haven't seen pop up in a long time. Maybe he'll pick up the vibes happening here at the Festival and reappear.

    Thanks for the background on this, the capsule history, and for sharing your obvious love for this unique pop jazz style which is still so popular.

    It's a great project - super to have it back up again. YEeeeeeah man.

    Randy

  6. #6

    Re: Festival Music: "A Menina, A Lua, E O Mar" a Bossa Nova Tribute to Jobim and Oger

    Well Frank you inspired me with this piece... I had a Bossa almost done but it kinda left it. Well, I finished it because of you!!!! Thanks for the nice piece and the prodding.

    Jim

  7. #7
    Senior Member Frank D's Avatar
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    Re: Festival Music: "A Menina, A Lua, E O Mar" a Bossa Nova Tribute to Jobim and Oger

    Quote Originally Posted by sd cisco View Post
    Nice mood, Frank!
    Something about the Bossa Nova is pretty sexy, soft summer night breezes, glittering lights, the sound ice cubes make when you stir them, intrigue and allure. Very skilfully handled and good listening the result!

    Thanks for posting - Rock-on SummerFest!!
    sd cisco
    Hey SD,

    Thanks for the comments, I always am glad when you listen to one of my pieces. Ice cubes clinkin' ... I'm thinkin' a chilled caiprihina! Hey, you'll have to create a sultry animation and score a nice Bossa Nova for it.

    Frank




  8. #8
    Senior Member Frank D's Avatar
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    Re: Festival Music: "A Menina, A Lua, E O Mar" a Bossa Nova Tribute to Jobim and Oger

    Quote Originally Posted by sanyarem View Post
    Ah, Frank, I think if I continue to read your postings, I will become an expert in mid-20th century classical and jazz music. And wow, I remember the Orchestration challenge very well (though I think I only entered in 2 or 3, I enjoyed it).

    You did well adhering to KISS as well as I could tell. This did, indeed, have a very clean bossa-y sound to it. Nice job!
    Hi Michael,

    Thanks for listening and leaving a comment ... much appreciated!

    I don't know about my knowledge of classical music; I love it, but am not a student or terribly experienced in it beyond the usual pieces that most musicians are familiar with. Now jazz, musical theater, and pop music in general (and quite a bit of the Latin genres), well, yes, NOW you're in my territory!

    Hey, thanks for reading any of that stuff ... it's interesting to me and I hope helps define to others what I was trying to accomplish with the music I create. Of course, if someone just plays the music, that's fine too ... it is, afterall, an aural art.

    You know, I was lured into creating and posting my very first piece of music because of the late, great Orchestrational Challenges (actually, to me, they were arranging challenges) . A lot of fun. I won one of them w/ an Afro-Cuban piece, but really enjoyed all the others I entered as well ... boy, there were some real creative pieces that came out of those!

    Frank



  9. #9
    Senior Member Frank D's Avatar
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    Re: Festival Music: "A Menina, A Lua, E O Mar" a Bossa Nova Tribute to Jobim and Oger

    Quote Originally Posted by jdsnyderii View Post
    Really nice Frank. The flute melts into the piece along the trombones. Fun to listen to too.

    Jim
    Hey Jim,

    I was distracted in answering comments to my own tune by seeing your great Bossa last night! LOL (a very enjoyable distraction I must say!) Thanks for your comments.

    Nothing melts together more sonorously than unison low flutes. I thought Oberman was pretty genius to double low flutes w/ a soft horn ... helped define the unison flute lines without stepping on the basic flute sound. One of those real pretty composite wind sounds.

    Glad you liked it!

    Frank

  10. #10
    Senior Member Frank D's Avatar
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    Re: Festival Music: "A Menina, A Lua, E O Mar" a Bossa Nova Tribute to Jobim and Oger

    Hey Randy!

    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser- View Post
    Right on the money, Frank - This is exactly what the doctor ordered, a revival of this smooooth, totally groovy Bossa from you. Oh man, I remember the Orchestration Challenge this was from, and how wonderfully mind blowing it was to hear this entry from you.- HEY, Rusty Crook -now there's an old Forum name I haven't seen pop up in a long time. Maybe he'll pick up the vibes happening here at the Festival and reappear.

    Thanks for the background on this, the capsule history, and for sharing your obvious love for this unique pop jazz style which is still so popular.

    It's a great project - super to have it back up again. YEeeeeeah man.

    Randy
    I was feeling left-out of the festival and wanted to contribute and figured, man, this song IS a warm Summer night! Good for a SummerFest! Thanks for listening to it again, and of course, for your nice comments.

    Yes, I was just telling Michael how much I enjoyed those Challenges ... hell, you lured me into posting my very 1st forum piece in one of the challenges you set ... "Hope"! And you are right ... Ken 'Rusty Crook' was such a creative musician ... he deservedly won just about every other challenge! LOL Hope he stops by again some day.

    Thanks for taking the time to read my "Birth of Orchestral Bossa Nova" write-up! Always interesting to me when a seminal recording (like Jobim and Ogerman's "Wave") defines an entire genre ... and its lasted for all these years.

    Let the SummerFest play-on!!

    Frank

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